The Power of Thanks…

I received the sweetest card in the mail today from a student who wrote me a note (while we’re out of school this week too) thanking me for the opportunity to attend a school like LaRue Miller Elementary.  It’s proudly displayed for my family and friends to note while visiting this week.  Thanks, Lily; you certainly made my week!

The power of the written word, especially one penned in hand by a student, is simply sublime…so in the spirit of Thanksgiving, please allow me a moment to bestow the important benefits of two simple words:  Thank You.

These two words truly have the power to transform our health, happiness, performance, personal excellence, and ultimate success.  Researchers note how grateful people are happier and more likely to maintain good friendships.  An attitude of gratitude in shown to improve the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure, and heal faster physically.  My own cardiologist tells me it is actually physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time!  When you are grateful you flood your body and brain with positive reactions (and those important endorphins) to uplift and energize rather than drain you.

Gratitude and appreciation are also essential for a healthy learning environment.  Teachers know a simple thank you or a show of appreciation can make all the difference to a child.

Gratitude is like muscle in the body though—the more we do with it, the stronger it gets.  In the spirit of the this week, here are 4 ways to practice Thanksgiving every day of the year (as shared by Jon Gordon in his book The Energy Bus):

  1. Take a Daily “Thank You” Walk – Take a simple 5-minute walk each day and say out loud what you are thankful for; it sets you up for a positive day.
  2. Meal Time Thank You’s – On Thanksgiving, or just at dinner with your friends and family, go around the table and have each person say what they are thankful for that day (and everyday).
  3. Gratitude Visit – Write a letter or card expressing your gratitude to someone (just like my friend Lily). Then visit the person and read them the letter or card.
  4. Say “Thank You” to Someone Everyday – When we take time out to sincerely and authentically express our appreciation to someone, we most definitely help ourselves in the process.

Thank you for supporting our work at LME everyday.  Thank you for sharing your most valuable resource with us everyday—your precious learner.  May you have a blessed Thanksgiving filled with food, fun, fellowship, thanks, and giving with those you hold dear.  🙂